Thursday, March 15, 2018

Welcome Yannick Boli!

Well this rumor/news has been circulating for a few days (I first got wind of it about a week ago) but today the Rapids made it official.  Ivorian striker Yannick Boli was signed today.  Boli is 30 years old, born in France and came up in PSG's system, but chose to play for Cote' d'Ivorie, though it does not appear he's been officially capped yet.  He spent 11 years at PSG between his youth career and reserve work (including a short loan to Le Havre), eventually making 4 appearances for the senior team, scoring once.

Since leaving PSG after the 2009-2010 season he's been a bit of a journeyman, playing in France, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, and most recently China.  Mainly for second division clubs but some top level clubs.  He helped his last two teams to promotion to the top leagues in their countries.  One constant is that he's scored everywhere he's played (outside of that 13 game Le Havre loan).   Over the last 4 years, in Russia and China, he's scored 42 times in 86 games.

The Rapids gave him a one year deal using TAM to pay for it.  He instantly becomes the best striker on the roster and an automatic starter.  This may not have been the "flashy name" we hoped for but it was a steep increase in quality at the position.  Mason and Badji can fight over the second starter role with Jackson and, if necessary, McBean as backups.

Boli has actually spent about a week here in Denver already, though he reportedly flew to London over the weekend for part of his medical and probably for immigration paperwork.  He'll be available as soon as his paperwork clears and with no game for another week he should have plenty of time to get adjusted to altitude and integrated with the team.  I don't expect his paperwork to be back in time for the home opener next Saturday though.


Mark Weatherley said...

I am bullish on Boli. As far as I can tell, he has the right stuff - he's aggressive, had a good sense of timing, and will go one v one. At times in his highlights he was a poacher. Other times he was coming from an angle off the ball to receive a pass, etc. He's decisive and clinical.

As best as I can tell from watching on YouTube and reading, etc., he'll be what the Rapids need. Hope he gets here soon.

Any ideas why he was only given a one year contract?

Jason Maxwell said...

My guess was that neither side was willing to commit long-term. Boli doesn't want to get "stuck" in MLS until he knows he can be successful, the Rapids don't want to commit more TAM money until they know Boli works in MLS.